Saudi Arabia cuts oil prices for U.S., Europe for May

April 6, 2009 - 0:0

Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest state-owned oil company, cut its official selling prices for all grades for customers in the U.S., Northwestern and Mediterranean Europe.

Saudi Arabia slashed the U.S. price of its Arab Heavy Crude the most, cutting it by $5.50 a barrel to $4.85 below the price of the West Texas Intermediate grade made in the U.S., the state oil company said in a faxed statement today. That wiped out its April price premium of 65 cents more than WTI, the first time Saudi heavy oil traded for more than the U.S. benchmark in at least 10 years.
Crude oil supplies climbed 2.84 million barrels last week to the highest level since July 1993, the Energy Department reported April 1. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries cut oil output by 1.2 percent to an average 27.395 million barrels a day last month, according to a Bloomberg News survey released on April 1.
Saudi Arab Light Crude was reduced by $4.15 a barrel in the U.S. and will sell for $2.25 less than WTI, Saudi Aramco said. Its April price was $1.90 more than WTI.
In Northwest Europe, Saudi light crude will be priced at $4.05 less than the IPE benchmark, a cut of $1.60 from a $2.45 discount last month, according to the statement. Heavy crude from Saudi Arabia for Europe declined $2.10, putting it $5.80 below the IPE equivalent.
Mediterranean, Asian prices
Oil for Mediterranean destinations also cheapened, with Saudi light oil declining 90 cents to $3.05 below the IPE benchmark, and heavy oil falling $1.75 to $5.55 below the Brent weighted average equivalent as listed on IPE.
Saudi Arabia increased Asian prices for light grades. Saudi Arab Light Crude will sell in Asia for 80 cents more than crude from Dubai and Oman, a reduction of 10 cents from the 90 cent- per-barrel premium last month. The Saudi heavy crude price was cut $1.20 to fall $1.85 below Dubai/Oman crude.
The following table gives the differentials in relation to benchmark prices, the month-on-month change and the degrees of gravity as defined by the American Petroleum Institute. Prices are in U.S. dollars a barrel.
(Source: Bloomberg